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Is enough being done to preserve languages.
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Language Death and Endangered Languages
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Language is basic in people’s lives; it is the thing that takes to separate among creatures and people, it is the thing that we use to get ourselves. Upon all its status in human life, individuals are as yet crying of language vanishing, in light of the fact that numerous kicked the bucket and some are imperiled. There are a few inquiries that expected to be posed, however just few were raised. We endeavored to take a gander at significant regions, for example, the significance of dialects, the insights of dialects, what truly caused the danger, and an exit plan (arrangement).
However, the issue is tremendous, yet we attempted and limited ourselves down to the insignificant dimension only not to confound perusers.
There are about six to seven thousand languages in the world today but the hurting or terrible thing is at the end of the 21st century almost half of these languages would have perished. According to Crystal (2000, 19) it is estimated that in every two weeks or so a language will die off somewhere in this world.
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Miroslav 2010 quoted Ethnologue (2005 12) there are about 51 languages (now 50) around the world that have only one speaker left: 8 languages (now 7) in the USA, 3 in South America, 3 in Africa, 6 in Asia, 28 in Australia, and 3 in the pacific ocean islands. Nearly or almost 500 languages have less than 100 speakers; 1,500 languages are spoken by less than 1,000 speakers; 3,000 or so languages have up to 10,000 speakers; and 500 languages have no more than 100,000 speakers. It has been calculated that about ninety-six percent (96%) of the world’s languages are spoken by about or only four percent (4%) of the globe’s population.
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Most of us feel we could never become extinct. The Dodo felt that way too. (William Cuppy) Dead languageA dead language is a language which is never again spoken by anybody as their principle language, or a language, for example, Latin, that is never again learned as a local language by a discourse network. At the point when the last speaker of a language bites the dust, the language also incredible. At times it isn’t important to trust that the last speaker will pass on before considering the language as dead on the grounds that the last speaker has nobody to address fluidly or habitually.
Thus, the language is wiped out, comparable to dead. There are a few voices that accepted to be the last speakers of their dialects. A few years back in Haci Osman in Turkey Linguists went into the town to record TevficEsen” who accepted to be the last speaker of Ubykh Language. He couldn’t chat with his own youngsters, since they have turned out to be Turkish. What he needed to be composed on his grave, he has officially composed it on the grave stone in 1984 “This is grave of TevficEsen”. He was the last individual ready to talk the language they called Ubykh.” With the passing of Esen” in 1992, Ubykh too joined the regularly expanding number of terminated dialects. We should take for example, Walsh language which was dead a few years back, notwithstanding the purpose of rejuvenation it has turned into a terminated and pursued the other dead dialects In Southern Carolina, four years after, a Native American called Red Thundercloud additionally kicked the bucket as the last voice of passing on tongue (Wappo).
If individuals think that its simpler for them to utilize dialects that are anything but difficult to direct business and impart in them, for example, English, Dutch, Spanish, Italia and so on., at that point you will discover that the more youthful ones are not utilizing the nearby dialects, or if the more youthful ones are not being instructed in the dialects verbally expressed by a set number of individuals (Elizabeth Malone) that implies few individuals are utilizing the dialects, at that point they steadily pass on. An imperiled language is one that is probably going to turned out to be wiped out sooner rather than later. Numerous dialects are bombing out of utilization and being supplanted by others that are all the more broadly utilized in the locale or country, for example, English in the U.S. or on the other hand Spanish in Mexico. Except if current patterns are turned around, these imperiled dialects will wind up wiped out inside the following century. Numerous different dialects are never again being scholarly by new ages of kids or by new grown-up speakers; these dialects will wind up wiped out when their last speaker bites the dust. Truth be told, many dialects today have just a single local speaker as yet living, and that individual’s passing will mean the annihilation of the language:
- It will never again be spoken, or known, by anybody.
- Dialects that have less or more modest number of speakers are additionally considered as jeopardized.
Dialects are characterized or level as indicated by the accompanying
- Dialects that protected or suitable: these are dialects that are upheld and utilized as an authority by governments and furthermore have huge number of speakers, at any rate 100,000 speakers or thereabouts, at that point it is considered as sheltered
- Jeopardized dialects: these are somewhat dialects that learn by kids yet will stop to be learned in not so distant future by kids, if the current condition perseveres. Hopeless dialects: these are terminal decrease dialects that have stopped to be learned by youngsters however spoken by seniors. In this manner, nearly bound or close annihilation.
- Dead/Extinct dialects: never again spoken by any one in spite of the fact that they are composed materials or chronicles.
There are factors for the loss of language
- Language move ” when a language move towards a more grounded language oftentimes
- Natural debacles, for example, volcanic ejection, tropical storm, tidal wave, tremor, infection Human debacles, for example, attack, massacre, fighting
- Political reasons, for example, colonization, training, movement
These components regularly result in social osmosis or even massacre contrast it and/to language, social, and instructive strategies that have occurred in the past time. Today it is difficult or basic to rebuff individuals for rehearsing or utilizing their dialects, still dialects keep on dying. How Languages Die?People are the main species on the planet whose correspondence framework displays gigantic assorted variety. Also, phonetic assorted variety is vital for understanding our ability for language. An expansion in environmental change related cataclysmic events may influence etymological assorted variety. A genuine model is Vanuatu, an island state in the Pacific, with a significant sensational ongoing ascent in ocean levels. There are more than 7,000 dialects spoken on the planet today. These dialects show colossal decent variety, from the quantity of unmistakable sounds (there are dialects with as few as 11 distinct sounds and upwards of 118) to the tremendous scope of conceivable word requests, structures and ideas that dialects use to pass on importance.
Each total that etymologists have set has been tested, and etymologists are occupied with discussing if there is anything at all that is regular to all dialects on the planet or anything at all that does not exist in the dialects of the world. Gesture based communications demonstrate to us that dialects don’t should be spoken. This decent variety is proof of the huge adaptability and pliancy of the human mind and its ability for correspondence. Contemplating differing dialects gives us precious bits of knowledge into human perception. Be that as it may, language assorted variety is in danger. Dialects are kicking the bucket each year.
Frequently a language’s passing is recorded when the last realized speaker kicks the bucket, and around 35 percent of dialects on the planet are at present losing speakers or are all the more genuinely imperiled. The greater part of these have never been recorded thus would be lost until the end of time. Etymologists gauge that 50 percent of the dialects verbally expressed today will vanish in the following 100 years. Some even contend that up to 90 percent of the present dialects will have vanished by 2115. Why dialects bite the dust?There are numerous reasons why dialects bite the dust. The reasons are frequently political, monetary or social in nature. Speakers of a minority language may, for instance, conclude that it is better for their youngsters’ future to show them a language that is attached to financial achievement. For instance, most by far of second-age foreigners to the United States don’t talk their folks’ dialects fluidly. It is financially and socially progressively gainful to communicate in English.
Relocation likewise assumes a vast job in language change and language demise. At the point when speakers of Proto-Indo-European moved to the vast majority of Europe and huge pieces of Asia somewhere in the range of 6,000 and 8,000 years back, they most likely achieved enormous language change and language demise. In Western Europe, Basque could be the main present day language that endures the convergence of the Indo-Europeans. In the coming hundreds of years, we may encounter an expansion in atmosphere related relocation. It is now evident that environmental change impacts current relocation designs. Atmosphere related calamities dislodged an expected 20m individuals in 2008. Vanuatu and assorted varietyThe regions influenced by atmosphere related fiascos are regularly ones that show incredible phonetic assorted variety and incorporate dialects with little quantities of speakers, which are particularly helpless.
The danger confronting islanders in Vanuatu isn’t only because of rising ocean levels. Later structural developments have likewise made pieces of certain islands sink. Therefore, an entire seaside town must be moved further inland from 2002 to 2004. This provoked a 2005 United Nations Environment Program public statement to consider these townspeople the world’s first environmental change displaced people. These environmental change exiles happen to live in a nation that has one of the largest amounts of phonetic decent variety on the planet. Vanuatu is the third most semantically different nation on the planet, as estimated by the Greenberg list. The file demonstrates the probability that two arbitrarily chosen speakers in a nation have distinctive local dialects. Vanuatu’s Greenberg record is an amazing 97.3 percent.
Vanuatu has 110 indigenous dialects spoken in a zone of around 15,000 square kilometers (around 6,000 square miles)” that is around one language for each 136 square kilometers. Half of the dialects verbally expressed on Vanuatu have 700 speakers or less. Losing dialects to cataclysmic eventsA portion of the nations influenced by the tremor and tidal wave that slaughtered around 230,000 individuals in 2004 are additionally all around semantically differing. India has 447 indigenous dialects and a Greenberg assorted variety file of 91.4 percent and Indonesia has 706 indigenous dialects and a Greenberg decent variety list of 81.6 percent. Scientists had quite recently found the Dusner language, which had just a bunch of outstanding speakers, when flooding in 2010 crushed the Papua district ofIndonesia, where the Dusner town is found. Fortunately, a portion of the speakers had endure, and the language could be recorded. Regularly, we don’t know decisively what impact cataclysmic events have on the dialects verbally expressed in influenced zones. What we can be sure of is that ecological weights increment portability and relocation and that movement influences language change and passing. A further increment in atmosphere related catastrophes may additionally quicken the vanishing of dialects. This would be a terrible misfortune for the general population and societies included, however for psychological science too.
Half of the dialects speak to immense, generally unmapped territory on which Philosophers, Linguists, and Cognitive Scientists can graph the full abilities and points of confinement of the human personality. These dialects every one of them has an interesting neighborhood learning of characteristic framework and societies in the area or where it is spoken. To comprehend mankind’s history, you need these dialects as a wellspring of proof. Davis 2003 “TedTalk” said that language isn’t just exist to express vocabularies and linguistic guidelines rather it is the thing that made people their identity. “Language isn’t only a collection of vocabulary or a set linguistic guideline. A language is a glimmer of human soul. It is a vehicle through which the spirit of every specific culture comes into the material world. Each language is an old-development woods of the psyche, a watershed, an idea, a biological system of profound conceivable outcomes.” Wade Davis, Ted Talks 2003 Apart from the uniqueness of the information related to those dialects, the reason(s) for their passing was not recorded or reported for example both the dialects and the information. Heather Lotherington stated, the way to all learning is language and it isn’t right for any language to guarantee that, just that language is a special method to procure information.
Some executioner dialects such English, French among others do feel this thought. Tsunoda 2012 thought of a recommendation that dialects should be archived in light of the fact that once a language is lost there would be no chance to record it. Subsequently, it is imperative to make a sufficient documentation of dialects while there is a chance. Tsunoda said during the time spent recording jeopardized dialects or any language so far as that is concerned, there are sure methodology to be pursued or ought to be go for the accompanying dimension of value (Craig 1997: 265; Lehman 1999: 5-6) ” an) exactness: a) the documentation must be as dependable as could be allowed, and; b) completeness: the documentation must be finished as would be prudent. That is, it “ought to give a genuine introduction of the language” (Mithun 2001: 52).
In perspective on these points, especially (b), it is imperative to adopt an all encompassing strategy, rather a restricted methodology. A comprehensive methodology means to record a language overall, including its socio-social foundation (Tsunoda 1998b)” Tsunoda 2012 Lenore and Whaley checked on book (imperiled language 1998) in which they took a gander at the present issue in the field of phonetic about minority and neglect dialects. Janet was stating that there is dependably exertion to safeguard language by people or by certain societies with regards to the issue of language misfortune, where she identified with Nancy Dorian’s work on Western Language Ideologies. She expressed that one of the components that contributed for the loss of dialects in minority networks is trashing.
Additionally, bilingualism and nonstandard dialects are the basic components for low esteem of minority dialects. This must be changed when the societal position of the minority language speakers is redesigned, use for religious purposes and dismissal of European qualities. The potential odds of all these are extremely negligible. Lenore and Whaley likewise analyzed the general characterization of language upkeep, where they alluded to Edwards’ model of (1992) for variables of language support, recommended that there is a requirement for this model to be improved so it tends to be connected to or obliges each network. Tsunoda (2012) again saying that on one hand dialects are vanishing while then again exertion were made to safeguard those dialects that are imperiled and even to bring into life the ones that become wiped out. We continue discussing “language conservation” however the term in phonetic field has or alluded to numerous names. Thus, Tsunoda (2012)
Steps should be taken to keep dialects from biting the dust
There are loads of ways should be pursued on the most proficient method to stop or hindering language passing.
Coming up next are a portion of the means:
- To balancing out human populace development
- To improve the expectation for everyday comforts of the provincial zones
- To improve the expectation for everyday comforts of needy individuals both in creating and created nations
By enabling the neighborhood individuals and not meddling with their lifestyle and how they oversee them selves If the political control by political elites is lifted, the purposes behind surrendering a language are additionally debilitated At the point when such advances are taken, the issue of losing dialects will be lessen definitely, and a great deal of societies and information would be spared, in light of the fact that we referenced before that each language has a special arrangement of learning and culture.
Finally, we found and saw that dialects are so significant and vital in human life, and we need them in all that we do. There are loads of dialects that are wiped out and many are jeopardized. These dialects are wiped out and should be relieved particularly in America and Australia. What we have seen, it is obligations of the two etymologists and administrations of different states to profoundly include in saving these dialects by archiving and recording them as entire, if conceivable resuscitate some terminated ones. This isn’t sufficient, given these dialects a chance to be educated and utilized as a mode of guidance in primary schools and media houses at the neighborhood networks where they exist. Language is our personality, let us spare it.
- Danny Hieber (2012) Why do languages Die?,accessed on www.mises.org/daily/5846/why-do-languages-die#content
- Elizabeth Malone Endangered Languages, accessed on www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/linguistics/endangered.jsp
- MiroslavernЅ (2010) Language Death versus Language Survival: A Global PerspectiveUniversity of Ostrava Czech Republic, accessed on www.conference.osu.eu/globalization/publ/06-cerny.pdf
- Nettle, D. & Romaine, S. (2000) Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World
- RidhaHarwan (2012) Language shift, Language Death, and Language Loss, accessed on www.ridhaharwan.blogspot.co.uk
- Tsunoda, T. (2012) Language endangered and Language revitalization.
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Language Death: Cultural Issue Or Moral Panic?
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2)What is language death?
3) brief history of language death.
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4) Why is language death an important issue?
5) what is the relation between culture and language, 6) should language death lead to moral panic, 7) conclusion, cite this work.
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The Importance Of Language Death
‘Language death’ does not always entail ‘language murder’. ‘Language death ' is when a community no longer speaks a language that they used to speak regularly. This may occur for many reasons such as social, economic, political and demographic factors. Along with the attitudes of the individuals within a community. ‘Language murder’ is when a community has happily left their language to die out and this can also be referred to as a shift in a language, which has the linguistic term, language shift. This is when a country will shift from using one language to another. This essay will look further into the reasons as to why some languages die. The linguistic term, language death can either happen at a gradual or rapid rate. This term is used …show more content…
In this essay, the author
- Explains that language death does not always entail language murder. it is when a community no longer speaks the language they used to speak.
- Explains that language death can happen at a gradual or rapid rate due to socio-cultural, educational, demographic, political, industrial, economic, and attitudinal factors.
- Explains that pictish was a language that died out around 900ad. it may have belonged to the indo-european language, but this may not be accurate as past languages were not properly documented.
- Explains that language loss occurs when the language is no longer being spoken elsewhere in the world. individuals who lose their native language are called semi-speakers.
- Explains that language suicide is when a language has been developed from pidgin and is merged into its superstrate language.
- Explains that language murder is a similar process to language shift.
- Explains that a language shift can happen for economic, political, and social reasons. the opposite of bilingual is monolingual.
- Opines that a community may not keep their ethnic language, but may lose the history of their community. this shift of language can happen rapidly as individuals want to change and learn the new language.
- Explains that demographic factors are based on factors such as age, race, income level and level of education. there are differences in terms of how fast a shift occurs between urban and rural communities.
- Explains that attitudes of speakers within a community are very important in how fast language shifts can happen.
- Explains that language change is also possible within communities and this means that languages can differ due to social and regional differences.
- Explains that diglossia has two definitions. the first is based on charles fergueson's idea that one language can be used in two different ways in the same community.
- Opines that languages should be revived if possible, such as gaelic and standard scottish english.
- Concludes that language death does occur around the world down to communities letting it die out and other factors such as natural disasters.
Language shift can happen for a number of reasons which include economic, political and social factors. Also, the attitudes of the individuals using the language play a crucial part in why a language shift may happen. Individuals within a community may decide to learn another language to find employment. There may be a dominant language present within a community that will benefit individuals when looking for employment. An example of this would be, Maniben whose first language was Gujerati. However, in order to get a job she needed to be able to speak English. She then started to use English more often than Gujerati. Maniben was fluent in two languages which means she is bilingual. Therefore, Maniben faced an economic factor as to why she shifted language (Holmes, page 53). The opposite of bilingual is monolingual. This is when people are only able to speak one language. Britain is an example of a country that is mostly monolingual as the there is only one dominant speaking language. There is also multilingual. This is when individuals within a country can speak two or more languages. This is becoming more popular around the world with many people being able to speak more than one
- Explains that they watched a video called voices of the world: the extinction of language and linguistic diversity.
- Explains that australia has lost 95% of its linguistic heritage due to the colonization of australia.
- Analyzes how the video goes on to talk about ghana, which was a british colony and most people spoke english. the video then goes all the way to china, where many people speak changsha hua.
- Explains that the totonac culture is dying out because of the spanish language, which is frowned upon by many people.
- Analyzes how the video talks about the livonian culture disappearing, and the question of how long will people celebrate their roots before things fizzle out.
- Analyzes how the video goes to mongolia, where parents are talking about teaching their daughter to speak mongolian and russian.
- Analyzes how the video goes to kenya where sheng is a mixture of other languages, and how english has evolved over the years into what we speak today.
- Analyzes how the video concludes with hamlet because it about a change in society.
- Opines that anthropologists and people are concerned about language loss, and that the loss of language will limit our point of views.
- Analyzes how the video made them want to become a linguistic anthropologist. the video showed different languages and cultures are important to the world.
- Explains that the essay will discuss the causes of language death and if endangered languages are worth saving.
- Describes language death as the loss of a language due to gradual shift in the dominant language. endangered languages are serious concerns for linguists and anthropologists.
- Explains that languages cannot be issued with birth and death certificates. the topic of language birth involves no pregnancy or delivery stages.
- Explains that language death is not new and not a recent phenomenon. an estimated 7,000 languages are being spoken around the world, but that number is expected to shrink rapidly in the future.
- Analyzes how the death of languages provides a stimulating and accessible account of the trend.
- States that linguists estimate that at least half the world’s languages will become extinct in the next 100 years. hagege argues that languages have been dying for a long time in human history.
- Analyzes how ethnologue editor paul lewis argues that the stakes are much higher because language and identity are linked, leading to social disruption, depression, suicide, and drug use.
- Explains that language death can be classified in terms of cause, such as death due to population, genocide, extermination, volcanic eruptions, tsunami and epidemics.
- Argues that languages can disappear in one location but not in another for many reasons.
- Explains that endangered languages should be saved because they have a part of community identity and affiliation which can be the essence continuity and ethnocultural creativity.
- Explains that saving endangered languages is beyond control for people living in tokyo, melbourne, london, new york or moscow, or people who speak a major language.
- Explains that the foundation of endangered languages estimates that between 500 and 1000 languages are spoken by a hand full of people out of the 7000 languages in the world.
- Opines that there is hope and purpose for a communities sociocultural, econotechnical and political self-regulation of endangered languages if it is dominated by another language.
- Explains that revitalization promotes usage of a language in its community, while preservation preserves texts as museum artifacts. the european charter for regional languages and the european language diversity for all programme are designed to protect the most threatened languages.
- Analyzes how the essay agrees endangered languages are worth saving and that many factors contribute to language death.
- Cites armstrong, r. 2014, language death. retrieved from http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi2723
- Describes the causes of language death and language maintenance.
- Explains lewis, m. paul, gary, f. simons, and charles d. fennig's ethnology: languages of the world, seventeenth edition.
- Cites mufwene, ss., fishman, j. and tusunoda, t.
- Analyzes how the homies have their own dialect, which is how they are told apart from others who don't know their life story or where they come from. father g uses his own words like "huero" and "pelon" reflecting on their identity, community and culture.
- Explains that they grew up with chicano english, a dialect of american english spoken primarily by mexican americans, and spanglish.
- Explains that they grew up in a spanish community/ neighborhood all their life, leading to their influence into spanglish dialect.
- Analyzes how language is used to communicate in our daily lives and routines. it helps people write, speak, read, and actively communicate with one another.
- Analyzes how language and dialect can be used to judge and oppress people. in "a.w.b. (articulate while black), influential people singled out barrack obama.
- Opines that learning and preserving a language is essential to keeping the culture alive, unqiue, and different from other cultures.
- Explains that most aboriginal languages experienced a steady erosion in linguistic vitality between 1981 and 1996. the number of people who spoke an aboriginal language at home grew only 7%.
- Explains that the report is based on an article in canadian social trends that explores which of canada's aboriginal languages are flourishing and which are in danger of disappearing.
- Explains that endangered languages experienced the largest declines. for every 100 individuals with salish languages as a mother tongue, the number who used it at home fell from 35 in 1981 to only 12 by 1996.
- Explains that age plays an important role in maintaining a language. the average age of the population with an aboriginal mother tongue was 31 in 1996, up from 28 in 1981.
- Explains that the loss of a language depends greatly on the stage of life through which people are going. young children have not yet had time or reason to shift from their mother tongue to another language.
- Explains that globalization is a broad term used in multiple social studies classes. there are three types of globalisation: cultural, economical, and political.
- Explains cultural globalization, which involves the spread of culture beyond the region or state from which it originated. migration has allowed for cultural worldwideization and religions like buddhism, christianity, and islam have spread to other regions.
- Explains that cultural globalization is being influenced by the diffusion of commodities and ideas. young people want american products such as nike sneakers and the latest cds.
- Predicts that by 2050, half of the world will be more or less proficient in english. asian-americans, specifically hmong in the united states, use english rather than their native language.
- Argues that cultural globalization can lead to a utopian world, and some believe it will cause less dominant cultures to be obliterated.
- Explains that the dominance of a language can allow for the loss of culture, but it can also bring awareness. in schools, local community centers and other various places, foreign languages are taught.
- Explains that being born in the united states and having to speak english a majority of the time, the knowledge of their native language hmong seemed to vanish as they felt more comfortable in speaking in english.
- Explains that economic globalization is the process in which the markets and production of different countries grow increasingly interconnected and independent.
- Explains that while there are jobs being created, some workers aren't necessarily under the fair trade act, which allows safe and reasonable labor conditions with stable minimum price guarantees.
- Explains that although companies are expanding and increasing in sales, workers are not benefitting as much as ceos. this is unsettling and causes a negative view to be formed on economic globalization.
- Explains that a closed economy would not benefit from economic globalization, being shut out from the outside world forces the state to rely on its own resources.
- Explains that north korea is closed to outside influence, its economy is not as good as south korea's economy.
- Explains that economic freedom allows economic globalization to spread throughout the globe. free markets allow producers and consumers to have economic decision making rather than the government.
- Explains that political globalization involves institutions and systems, whether formal or informal, that transcend national or regional interests and address global issues.
- Opines that the european union is an example of successful political globalization as there is stability in the region.
- Explains that the united nations' purpose is to preserve international peace and security. multiple countries can address rising issues and prevent them from causing large-scale disasters.
- Explains that political globalization has allowed for the coming together of countries and although the governments may be different, there is stability among the many nations, as seen through the european union or the united nations.
- Explains that understanding the three main types of globalization allows one to understand that there are benefits to each one.
- Explains that humans have long lusted after power - the power to control, dominate, and influence other beings, the environment and civilizations.
- Analyzes how many plans have simply overridden the importance of others' lives, and how the people executing these plans give no apparent thought to anything aside from their own agendas.
- Opines that the first issue that is factoring into our global crisis of culture loss is language. the advent of industrialism and technology allowed for the spread of information.
- Analyzes how westernized nations are consumed with flashy, unattainable, and unsustainable wealth. corporations are businesses that make copious amounts of money for people.
- Opines that we need to take the commercial blinders off and use technology to progress in real, sustainable ways.
- Opines that monsanto has not even received the full bad rap it deserves. it exhibits corporate greed and population control to the vast majority of the global population.
- Analyzes how google and monsanto used laboratories, science, and technology to "help" nature, but google found a way to reduce waste and harm to humans, animals and the environment.
- Argues that instead of letting corporate initiatives control human lives, we need to wake up and realize that in 50 years, no one will care how many pairs of leather shoes we owned or what corporate ceo broke the $50 billion net worth record.
- Opines that we are entitled to this planet, for she has given all of us our lives, and we're nothing without her. we must change our materialistic mindset into a mindset of true freedom for all.
- Analyzes how anzaldua's essay aims to gain sympathy from readers by raising issues on identity and discrimination.
- Analyzes how anzaldua's sense of helplessness helps readers understand that her situation was not by choice. she was brought up in a community that speaks english and spanish, english while in school and chicano while at home.
- Analyzes how anzaldua compares the ability to speak freely to a wild tongue. she believes that her language defines her identity.
- Analyzes how anzaldua felt that getting rid of one or the other is like stripping her off part of her identity. she was punished for speaking spanish at recess.
- Analyzes how was called a traitor for "speaking the oppressor's language" and "ruining the spanish language." they failed to understand her stance of being brought up in the southwest who spoke chicano spanish.
- Analyzes how she felt outraged by how latino and english speaking individuals belittle chicano spanish and orphaned chicanos linguistically. she wanted readers to sympathize with the situation the chicans are facing and embrace their appreciation of both cultures.
- Analyzes how anzaldua's metaphor implies how the tongue of an individual, their language, can be oppressed, subject to violence or even murdered.
- Analyzes how anzaldua's use of both spanish and english in her essay may indicate a different intention.
- Analyzes how anzaldua asserts the right to speak chicano spanish by mentioning linguistic terrorism. she states that the first amendment is dishonored when the personal expression of an individual is attacked with the aim of censor.
- Opines that anzaldua's text is to gain sympathy from the readers and chicanos. gaining sympathy on her plight will spark people’s interest on the language, increasing the potential for its recognition in future.
- Opines that language is a means of communication in any given society. it represents the ability to evolve and progress through the ongoing process of living with others.
- Analyzes how dr. pousada examines the historical development of english in puerto rico prior to 1898.
- Explains how pousada began to discuss english in puerto rico after 1898, starting with the treaty of paris and promoting "americanization via the english language."
- Explains how many commissioners of education began to implement their ways of thinking in the whole education system, starting with martin brumbaugh, samuel mccune, roland p. falkner, and mariano villaronga.
- Analyzes dr. pousada's investigation of the language issue on the island of puerto rico.
- Analyzes how puerto ricans use english as a second language, consider themselves bilingual, accept it, and have better positions in the professional sector. thematic fear of losing its identity was also reflected on the studies.
- Analyzes how dr. pousada discusses the implications for the future with her last subtopic in her essay.
- Analyzes how dr. pousada argues that english teachers have the power to remove the unwillingness and resistance from their puerto rican students by being successful avid english language learners and users themselves.
- Opines that language should be standardized under specific rules, regulations that support the language and prevent merging with other languages to avoid cultural assimilation.
- Explains that arabic is an example of a language that is spoken with rules and regulations that govern it, these rules come from the holy quran.
- Opines that language is dynamic, it changes with time. historical events have led to significant alterations in languages, and the way native speakers communicate.
- Opines that oman's culture is related to the language, and religion is an important factor in determining why it is a subject of importance.
- Opines that diversity should be encouraged, as long as it does not interfere with the widely spoken language that have previously existed.
- Opines that language assimilation is the creation of a standard language that is recognized by people with similar characteristics.
- Explains that in oman, the language of power is the religion of the holy quran, which is obligatory in institutions of ‘power’ i.e. schools and governments.
- Opines that they have faced assimilation, studying abroad has definitely impacted their arabic, and the way they speak in general. they have been caught into the public sphere of english speakers.
- Explains that they believe in diversity and see it as a key in creating an ideal group; however, diversity is accepted so long as cultural language and identity is preserved.
- Analyzes how kenan malik's article, "let them die," argues that language death should be acknowledged rather than trying to keep it.
- Analyzes how malik makes valid claims that are usually supported by quotes and examples to persuade the readers.
- Analyzes how malik uses the opposite idea of some linguist campaigners to make his argument more persuasive.
- Analyzes how malik's use of language convinces readers by his logical explanation in the article. good examples, counterargument, and logic help his argument and make it more persuasive.
- French language
- Language death
- First language
Language Of Death
After much debate, I have chosen to research the language of death. I came to this conclusion after revisiting a website that Professor Delane provided. Not only was the website interesting, but also relatable. The language of death revolves around the idea there is “an entire language of facial expressions and bodily gestures and vocal utterances that make up our communication about all aspects of the dying process” (Carey, 2016). It is a complex and delicate topic that everyone encounters. I intend
Stop For Death Figurative Language
“Because I could not stop for death” by Emily Dickinson and “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas are two poems where the central theme revolves around death and dying. Imagery, figurative language, structure and diction are different aspects in each poem but come together to create a unique tone. The first aspect is imagery. The imagery in both poems contrast one another. “Because I could not stop for death” creates imagery in which it is believed that there is a man on a carriage
Figurative Language In First Death
Elizabeth Bishop’s poem First Death in Nova Scotia follows a small girl who is introduced to the concept of death for the first time through her cousin, Arthur. Even though the narrator is just a child who is experiencing death for this first time, she is extremely perceptive of her surroundings. The details and language the girl uses to describe the situation illustrates the difficulty the girl is having coming to terms with the idea of death, while also confusing her throughout the poem. The important
Death Of The Moth Figurative Language Essay
is significant and many search for an answer. For Virginia Woolf, she found the answer right outside her windowsill and writes about in her essay, The Death of the Moth. In her essay, she describes a small tan moth flying outside of her window than about watching it die. In her essay, The Death of the Moth, Virginia Woolf utilizes figurative language and appeals to emotion in order to convey to her audience that life is as significant as you make it. Virginia Woolf’s appeals to emotion assist her purpose
Analysis Of David Crystal's Article Language Death '
The article Language Death by David Crystal talks about language threats that are present and that will occur in future. He begins off talking about the risk of to minority languages. There are level headed discussions over the meaning of “language” and assessment of the quantity of language change, yet a figure some place around 6000 is conceivable. Maybe more vital is the circulation of speakers, with 4% of language representing 96% of individuals and 25% having less than 1000 speakers. There are
The Masque Of The Red Death Figurative Language
In the Masque of the Red Death , Poe uses language of death and celebration to show the difference between those suffering from red death and those protected from the plague by prince and being upper class. When you read the story The Red Death, you will find out what happened to the people that died from the plague. Death is a type of language that describes the horrors of the people dying from diseases and sickness. The red death deals with negative language by using words such as: dark, hideous
Because I Could Not Stop For Death Figurative Language
all be changed-.” (1 Corinthians 15:51) Death is inevitable and many people have different views and opinions on the concept of death. Emily Dickinson is known for her many poems about death that show a peaceful, subtle acceptance of the unknown. In “Because I could not stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson, the speaker is reminiscing her experience of death and the transition into eternity. Throughout this poem, thematic elements including figurative language, imagery, and tone effectively demonstrate
Throughout literature, Death has been portrayed by rich array of personifications usually taking the form of a malevolent being such as a grim reaper, ferryman, hunter, or horseman. In Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death," the speaker reveals her calm acceptance of death by personifying death as a polite suitor who has called upon her. She casts an air of anticipation and acceptance of death, rather than fear, as he accompanies her on a carriage ride to eternity. The protagonist
“Because I Could Not Stop for Death,” written by Emily Dickinson was published in 1890, in her collection called Poems. Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, and passed away May 15, 1886. Four years after her death, several of her poems were published including, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” Emily Dickinson had become ill in the 1880s, and lost many friends and family members during this time, causing her to gain a higher blood pressure, which would then kill her in 1886. This turn in
Language, Death And Linguistic Endangerment
colonialization. Language death and linguistic endangerment is woven with colonialization and the history of oppression toward indigenous communities. We cannot speak of language death without first acknowledging the speakers and the systematic oppression that indigenous communities continue struggling to resist. In present time language shifts due to economic incentive of hegemony and the mediating role of language ideologies are two of the most important causes of language death. Language shift and language
Death Foretold Figurative Language
‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez narrates the story of a murder carried out by the Vicario brothers defending the honour of their deflowered sister. The story is set in a South American colonial town in the 1950s, a society that excessively valuated traditionally masculine characteristics and had rigid gender expectations. Garcia Marquez creates the Vicario brothers based on the traditional model of behaviour for males at the time, using a vibrant blend of descriptions of
Theme Of Figurative Language In The Masque Of The Red Death
Laney Coach Black 1st Period 2 November 2017 “The Masque of the Red Death” Prompt 2 Symbolism is a type of figurative language that many authors use to portray their theme and keep the reader engaged throughout the story. Edgar Allen Poe is known for often putting hidden meanings in his works and he does not disappoint with his short story, “The Masque of the Red Death” with his use of figurative language. Poe uses his writing to get his point across to the audience, all the while
Figurative Language And Imagery Of Emily Dickinson 's `` Because I Could Not Stop For Death ``
Emily Dickinson is considered to be one of the greatest poets of figurative language and imagery. I found her poem “Because I could Not Stop for Death” to be an exemplary illustration of those forms of writing. Enlaced with the personifications of Death, Immortality, and Eternity; Dickinson reaches into the depths of the reader’s psyche and transports them on a journey into her world of life after death. In this essay, I will attempt to show that due to certain event that occurred towards the end
What Factors Played A Role In The Death And Life Of A Language?.
a role in the death and life of a language? There are roughly 7.4 billion people in the world, with over 6000 diverse cultures and societies. Within these cultures lies languages and dialects. Sadly, there are serval hundred languages that have faded away from a cultural society. This research paper analyzes the factors that lead to the death and life of a language. Origin of language There are two different views on how human beings we were able to begin communicating with language. Historians believe
Compare Two Poems in Which the Poets Explore Attitudes to Death. How Do the Poets Use Language to Emphasise? These Attitudes?
Defying Gravity by Roger McGough and Mort Aux Chats by Peter Porter are two poems that have death as a theme. Although they refer to death in different ways. Mort Aux Chats refers to death to convince you to dislike cats. Whereas Defying Gravity is about a mans “victory” with death. These poems rely on language to emphasise the attitude to death. Defying Gravity is told from the point of view of a dying mans best friend. It uses a lots of metaphors and I think this makes the poem very effective
Chronicle Of A Death Foretold Figurative Language Essay
‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez narrates the story of a murder carried out by the Vicario brothers defending the honour of their deflowered sister. The story is set in a South American colonial town in the 1950s, a society that excessively valuated traditional masculine characteristics and had rigid gender expectations. Garcia Marquez creates the Vicario brothers based on the accepted traditional model for males at the time, using a vibrant blend of descriptions of physical
Essay On Give Me Death By Patrick Henry Language Techniques
Different ways of language techniques are used in every single literature. This is because language techniques can influences the reader, and gives a connection between an author and the audience himself. Not to mention, that without different language techniques, literature would not be interesting, or it wouldn’t exist at all. The speech “Give me liberty or give me death” by Patrick Henry, uses many language techniques through the whole speech, Henry uses this to connect himself to his audience
Emoji The Death Of The Written Language
The article “Emojis: The death of the written language?” (Mody, 2015) by Seema Mody is a bad article because, yes emoji’s are used in everyday text messages as well as the written language. You can’t have a conversation simply by using just emoji’s. In the article, Mody makes the assumption that “recipient not always grabbing the full meaning” (Mody, para 23) basically meaning someone might misinterpret what your trying to say. But that is wrong because for example, the peach emoji can be interpreted
Figurative Language In The Masque Of Red Death
known for his short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and fear. Poe has a magic and dark way of writing. “The Masque of Red Death’’ is one of Poe's most famous stories. He proficiently used some death symbolism, bloody imagery,and skillful figurative language in order to contribute to his purpose to inform his reader impossibility to escape from the death no matter who you are. Through using the deathly symbolism in this story skillfully, Poe alluded to people to the part of life that
of Red Death Analytical 2nd Draft Essay Edgar Allan Poe was a famous American writer and literary critic. Poe is best known for his short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and fear. Poe has a magic and dark way of writing. “The Masque of Red Death’’ is one of Poe's most famous stories. He proficiently used some death symbolism, bloody imagery,and skillful figurative language in order to contribute to his purpose to inform his reader impossible to escape from the death no matter
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Language Dying: The Cause And Causes Of Language Death
Drc culture influence on american culture.
The DRC is touches the Central African Republic, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Angola. Because the DRC is surrounded by over five countries it is a prime target of emigration. Emigration is not bad, but the DRC is filled with different ethnics and cultural influences. For, instance, since culture is learned a lot of different influences go into the DRC culture. For example, the Rwanda genocide in the late 1990s thousands of thousands of individuals from the Hutu tribe fled to the DRC bringing the language of Rwanda-Rundi; as a result of the genocide Rwanda-Rundi is “the 5th most common language in the [DRC]” (“Where on earth do they”, n.d.). And since culture is learned and serves a variety of functions the language has prospered as the result of interethnic relationships and intercultural cooperation “culture is shared, transmitted from generation to generation…” (Samovar, et al., 2015). Parents teach their children the languages they speak and then the children teach the languages they were taught and as a result Rwanda-Rundi has been passed down from generation to generation to now being one of the most common languages in the DRC.
Literacy, Discourse And Linguistics
Separated into the categories primary, secondary dominant, and secondary non-dominant, discourses pertain to a person’s social identity, values, beliefs, acts, words, and attitudes according to the author, James Paul Gee, in the article, “Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction”. An individual who observes my life can effortlessly identify that my primary discourse is family. The way I act at every situation results from me observing my household members perform various activities. For instance, being in a family that relies particularly on the English language to succeed, I have easily become fluent in the linguistic. This knowledge grants me a sense of identity as the way I perceive concepts originates from my family. However,
Culture In Russ Rymer's 'Vanishing Voices'
Culture is the string that connects groups of people with common values or norms. The most common type of culture is physical; things such as physical appearance, food, clothing, behavior, arts, literature, and music. A more abstract form of culture are things like values, beliefs, worldviews, principles, and ethical guidelines (Rubia Jovel, Karla, et al.)(1). One can see the evolution of humanity just by looking at a particular culture. But every day a little piece of culture dies out and humans get one step closer to a singular culture society. When I read “Vanishing Voices” by Russ Rymer something that really stuck out to me was the introduction to the article in which Rymer states “One language dies every 14 days. By the next century nearly
We Still Live Here Language Analysis
The movie “We Still Live Here” talks about the revitalization of the Wampanoag’s language. After long generations of resilience and courage, a cultural revival is taking place now. Toodie Coombs, a Mashpee Wampanoag who appears in the film, asserts that the Wampanoags are a strong people, their strength is coming from living in two worlds. The two worlds she is referring to are the modern world they are living now, the American way of life, the modern life, the world where they speak English and on the other hand, there is the world before the white man came to this land, the world of their ancestors, their native way of life, with its own special characteristics culturally, economically and even biologically. I would like to start by the Wampanoag’s world in the past. They were a big community
How Did Imperialism Contribute To Slavery
A lot of people benefited from these languages spreading. Languages spreading meant it was easier for people in different countries or continents to communicate with each other. Languages spread in places like Asia, where today most people in Asia speak the same language. Some people might argue and say that other native languages were destroyed. This may have happened, but since other languages were spread it was easier for people to communicate. And without the spread of languages not everyone would be able to communicate with each
The Young Lords Movement Analysis
Spanglish is the future. It’s a new language being born out of the ashes of two cultures clashing with each other… Words that aren’t English but at the same time are both….Our people are evolving into something new” (Quiñonez 212). As language is a dominant culmination of a culture, to deny a full adoption of the English language is to deny a complete assimilation to Anglo-American culture, and to deny a rejection of
James Baldwin Language
This piece by James Baldwin spoke about how the language came to be, why these countries have a certain language because of their history and where they come from. It speaks about the different languages spoken in countries that are very different when speaking the same language. The role of language, how even speaking the same language can be so different. The essay speaks about the truth and speaks to everyone in a crisp tone to make everyone acknowledge the truth of where language came from. This essay is appealing to everyone to be aware that everyone speaks differently than you, because of where they come from and their cultural identity. Depending where we were born and how we were raised is how people will interact with other
Kenan Malik's Essay 'Let Them Die'
The essay “Let them die” by Kenan Malik points out that “languages on the verge of extinction” (Malik, 13) should be left “die in piece” (Malik, 13). However, based on the ineffectiveness
How To Tame A Wild Tongue Summary
Although it is nearly impossible to get an entirely accurate count, there exist at least 6,500 languages. Something tells me that if language were about something as simple as communication, that number would be smaller. In all actuality, people feel deeply connected to their native languages for another reason. Language and culture are one and the same, and Gloria Anzaldua illustrates this in her piece “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” using examples of changes and suppressions of her language, to represent changes and suppressions of her culture as a whole. This evident not only in the piece itself, but through much of linguistic discourse as well.
Farewell To Manzanar By Jeanne Wakatsuki
The earliest forms of language were spoken around 250,000 years ago. Over the years, language has become more diverse. There have been more than 100,000 different languages spoken or written in our history. As you might expect, language is an essential part of our existence. Ever since its creation, language has inspired many thoughts and ideas.
Native American Mascot Case Study
because they are a minority and would be less likely to retaliate than another group, in the case of their culture being attacked
How Did Imperialism Influence The Americans Colonize Bagkongo
The Bakongo people were people of the Kongo empire. They were located in modern Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They migrated there during the 13th century under the leadership of Wene. In 1485, they began a relationship with Portugal, but in 1526, they expelled the Portuguese. Soon after they were attacked by another tribe named Jagar, so they asked the Portuguese for help. After that, the Kongo empire spent a lot of their time fighting for and against the Portugese (). Before colonization, the Kongo empire spoke their own language and practice their own religion, until 1885, when the Belgians successfully changed the religious belief of the natives, but allowed the natives to keep their major language.
Essay On Chinese Culture
The traditional Chinese cultures have a development process for thousand years, now we are creating another kind of traditional culture especially under the wave of globalization. Although the form of expressing or performing the culture experienced some changes but the basic idea and belief behind rarely changed. To promote Chinese culture we would refer to the essence of Chinese wisdom so the following is actual practicing of different dimensions of Chinese traditions which show the beauty of China.
Essay On Language Culture And Society
The Language Culture and Society programme provides us with strong theoretical and interdisciplinary foundation for the study of a range of educational practices across the human lifespan and in a range of theoretical and methodological perspective is brought to bear on studies that explore the nature of literate practices, democracy and civic engagement and participation in social life. The programme focuses on relationships between education school and the dynamics and changing structures of language, culture, and society. It examines connection between broader, social, cultural, linguistic, historical, aesthetic and political factors in education and the local context in which these issues take place.
Language In Society: The Relationship Between Language And Society
Language is an important part of our life. Language and communication cannot separate. People use the language as a means of communication to express their ideas and feelings. They communicate either with each other using language in every social interaction; communicate with others directly or indirectly in the spoken and written form. Therefore, language is an important thing of communication in social life. In the social life, language and society are two things that support each other. It is impossible if there is society without language and there is language without society, because language is a device to communicate one to another (Adam J.H, 1982; 3). There is the study to organize between language and the society that is called sociolinguistics.
More about Language Dying: The Cause And Causes Of Language Death
Language Death Process Causes and Factors
Introduction, causes of death of a language, the beginning of the process of death of a language, lost factors when a language dies, two illustrations by harrison, works cited.
Language is one of the important tools and communication methods that human beings deserve to embrace over the past decade and still do. In the modern society, different strategies to promote the language creativity and active interactions have been a success. As much as people tend to cope with different values and cultural practices in the background of the language, it is difficult to understand how the evaluation of the characteristics can be fed without any trigger. This study will focus on the causes of death of a language, where the process begins, how it is carried out backing up the prove using the book that has an illustration of how individual language speakers are coerced into giving up their language. The study will also discuss on the factor that is lost when a language dies, describing the answer using a book and finally choose the two illustrations when discussing the examples given by Harrison, on how ‘each language has its own window on the world.’
Miscommunication and lack of mutual understanding may lead to the death of a language, as there are no channels to convey a message from a certain source. Provision of the various equipment meant to express a certain language have been an effective way to trigger its rise, though this has been in vain since as long as the communication links are cut, the language naturally dies.
The cultural values of people in a certain community would depend on the beliefs based on the language and total tolerance for these factors. These values may interfere with the communication channel through the illustrations given using direction. Language is a critic that seeks to identify differentiation and provide factors that will promote its existence. If some environmental elements are a hindrance within this context, the aim is dead, and the outcome is a negative communication causing language barrier. The death of language consists of the individual’s perceptions towards the same approach.
Individuals with the abilities to illustrate proper grounds that will ascertain the channel of information and communication embrace the actions based on the causes of death of a language, and the effects of the transformation efforts. Every process in the context of literature has a beginning that catalyzes the rest of the program. In the death of a language, the focus is based on the mutual understanding and communication skills issued through a certain ground, using a particular audience who need to address the issues. The process is manipulated by anxiety and the feelings of disclosure and pessimism that promote criticism based on the manner it is evaluated, and the ways through which the structures have an impact on the rest of the process. Identifying the resources from the language content might affect the fading of the factor due to the quality of information used; for a wrong audience in a wrong format and period.
The individual language speakers are triggered by the commonalities within a setup to express their language facts using the opportunities surrounding the platform. Manipulating some status or circumstances such as misinterpretations of words or sentences, may provide an opportunity for the speakers to give up on their language. Proper decision-making that might be an issue in the event of promoting growth and development of a language may influence the actual reality for the same input.
The main point from the language connections and the proper evaluation of the resources are the content of the information. When this factor dies, the language used is as good as dead. The communication background and the outcome may affect the audience, and the individuals would feel manipulated, leading to the denial and declarations to suing the language that a community seemed comfortable in. Accurate and critical thinking through the approach on awareness and feedback may affect the progression of a language. The effects of proper decisions made are drawn from the polite feedback giving, and it is upon individuals to provide outstanding ground based on the same platform.
Another element that is lost during the process is trust and confidence from individuals who opted for a particular language that never worked. Depending on the reliability of issues that affect the language of a certain group, having an important factor channeled at producing the same decision will depend on how the information issued is convincing, and the strategies used for the outcome of the same content, as considered and emulated by the abundance. Confidence in a language will be possible through the right quality of information from the same language, promoting an outcome that will eliminate negative thinking through a firm’s decision-making process (Nicholas 55). Constant communication and information development within a certain language depends on the frequent efforts to channel the same communication. Focusing on the accurate choice of words and ensuring that their arrangements are formal and attract the attention of the users, will depend on the feedback from the same individuals.
Harrison believed in the language introduction, productivity, creativity and the factors that may lead to its absence. One illustration that Harrison puts forth is the Karaim language that is spoken in Lithuania. This language, as illustrated by Harrison, it became obsolete with time, losing its status as the common language spoken in this part of the world. As such, for with it vanished “an accretion of many centuries of human thinking about time, seasons, sea creatures, reindeer, flowers, mathematics, landscapes, myths, music, infinity, and the everyday” (Nicholas 55). The death of a language, as depicted by Harrison, covers on an emphasized quote on how each language has its own window on the world.
This means that the content of a particular language is deterministic of its futuristic characteristics, which speculate the period the language might survive as it is on its own, and the other factors will depend on the response from the users. Another illustration depicted by Harrison is the Munda people otherwise the ‘leaf-cup people’ from India. To this end, Harrison states that “the loss of a language is like dropping a bomb on a museum” (Nicholas 59). Nevertheless, accurate decision-making may trigger the growth as well, depending on the region the language is used, and some forms of emulation from the background to the conclusion of the history. Constant from the language will determine the other department of a language and its exploration within the societal setup.
Having a common understanding based on the factors of growth, development, content and social skills within a communication channel will ascertain the ways in which a language is known. The death of a language depends on the users and their environment. Philosophical approach towards discussion of emotions and events that are expressed from a certain angle of the language efforts will protect the reputation of a language, depending on the ways the users redefine and identify it. Self-motivation and critical thinking are some factors to be determined when discussing on the benefits of proper communication as well as self-image and body language as the user settles at the language.
Nicholas, Evans. Dying words: Endangered languages and what they have to tell us . New York: Random, 2011. Print.
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Katrina Esau, one of the last remaining speakers of a Khoisan language that was thought extinct nearly 40 years ago, teaches her native tongue to a group of school children in Upington, South Africa on 21 September 2015. Photo by Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty
The death of languages
Endangered languages have sentimental value, it’s true, but are there good philosophical reasons to preserve them?
by Rebecca Roache + BIO
The year 2010 saw the death of Boa Senior, the last living speaker of Aka-Bo, a tribal language native to the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. News coverage of Boa Senior’s death noted that she had survived the 2004 tsunami – an event that was reportedly foreseen by tribe elders – along with the Japanese occupation of 1942 and the barbaric policies of British colonisers. The linguist Anvita Abbi, who knew Boa Senior for many years, said: ‘After the death of her parents, Boa was the last Bo speaker for 30 to 40 years. She was often very lonely and had to learn an Andamanese version of Hindi in order to communicate with people.’
Tales of language extinction are invariably tragic. But why, exactly? Aka-Bo, like many other extinct languages, did not make a difference to the lives of the vast majority of people. Yet the sense that we lose something valuable when languages die is familiar. Just as familiar, though, is the view that preserving minority languages is a waste of time and resources. I want to attempt to make sense of these conflicting attitudes.
The simplest definition of a minority language is one that is spoken by less than half of some country or region. This makes Mandarin – the world’s most widely spoken language – a minority language in many countries. Usually, when we talk of minority languages, we mean languages that are minority languages even in the country in which they are most widely spoken. That will be our focus here. We’re concerned especially with minority languages that are endangered, or that would be endangered were it not for active efforts to support them.
The sorrow we feel about the death of a language is complicated. Boa Senior’s demise did not merely mark the extinction of a language. It also marked the loss of the culture of which she was once part; a culture that was of great interest to linguists and anthropologists, and whose extinction resulted from oppression and violence. There is, in addition, something melancholy about the very idea of a language’s last speaker; of a person who, like Boa Senior, suffered the loss of everyone to whom she was once able to chat in her mother tongue. All these things – the oppression until death of a once thriving culture, loneliness, and losing loved ones – are bad, regardless of whether they involve language death.
Part of our sadness when a language dies, then, has nothing to do with the language itself. Thriving majority languages do not come with tragic stories, and so they do not arouse our emotions in the same ways. Unsurprisingly, concern for minority languages is often dismissed as sentimental. Researchers on language policy have observed that majority languages tend to be valued for being useful and for facilitating progress, while minority languages are seen as barriers to progress, and the value placed on them is seen as mainly sentimental.
Sentimentality, we tend to think, is an exaggerated emotional attachment to something. It is exaggerated because it does not reflect the value of its object. The late philosopher G A Cohen describes a well-worn, 46-year-old eraser that he bought when he first became a lecturer, and that he would ‘hate to lose’. We all treasure such things – a decades-old rubber, our children’s drawings, a long-expired train ticket from a trip to see the one we love – that are worthless to other people. If the value of minority languages is mainly sentimental, it is comparable to the value that Cohen placed on his old eraser. It would be cruel to destroy it deliberately, yet it would be unreasonable for him to expect society to invest significant resources preserving it. The same might be true of minority languages: their value to some just doesn’t warrant the society-wide effort required to preserve them.
T here are a couple of responses to this. First, the value of minority languages is not purely sentimental. Languages are scientifically interesting. There are whole fields of study devoted to them – to charting their history, relationships to other languages, relationships to the cultures in which they exist, and so on. Understanding languages even helps us to understand the way we think. Some believe that the language we speak influences the thoughts we have, or even that language is what makes thought possible. This claim is associated with the so-called Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which the linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker at Harvard has described as ‘wrong, all wrong’.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is certainly linked to a variety of dubious myths and legends, such as the pervasive but false belief that Eskimos have a mind-bogglingly large number of words for snow. But its core idea is not as wrong-headed as Pinker believes. While there is little evidence that thought would not be possible at all without language, there is plenty of evidence that language influences the way we think and experience the world. For example, depending on which language they are using, fluent German-English bilinguals categorise motion differently, Spanish-Swedish bilinguals represent the passage of time differently, and Dutch-Farsi bilinguals perceive musical pitch differently. Even Pinker apparently finds the link between thought and language compelling: he believes that thoughts are couched in their own language, which he calls ‘mentalese’. In any case, this debate can be settled only empirically, by studying as many different languages (and their speakers) as possible. Which leaves little doubt that languages are valuable for non-sentimental reasons.
Second, let’s take a closer look at sentimental value. Why do we call some ways of valuing ‘sentimental’? We often do this when someone values something to which they have a particular personal connection, as in the case of Cohen and his eraser. Cohen calls this sort of value personal value . Things that have personal value are valued much less by people who do not have the right sort of personal connection to them. Another way of being sentimental is valuing something that is connected to someone or something that we care about. This sort of value is behind the thriving market in celebrity autographs, and it is why parents around the world stick their children’s drawings to the fridge.
The term ‘sentimental’ is gently pejorative: we view sentimentality as an inferior sort of value (compared with, say, practical usefulness), although we are often happy to indulge each other’s sentimental attachments when they don’t cause us inconvenience. Parents’ sentimentality about their kids’ drawings is not inconvenient to others, but sentimentality about minority languages often is, since they require effort and resources to support. This helps to explain why minority languages, to some people, are just not worth the bother.
However, sentimentality is not so easily set aside. Our culture is underpinned by values that, on close inspection, look very much like sentimentality. Consider the following comparison. We can all agree that it is sentimental of Cohen to insist (as he did) that he would decline an opportunity to upgrade his old eraser to a brand-new one. Yet were the Louvre to decline an offer from a skilled forger to exchange the Mona Lisa for an ‘improved’ copy that eliminated the damage suffered over the years by the original, we are unlikely to view this decision as sentimental. On the contrary, were the museum to accept the forger’s offer, we could expect to find this shocking story make headlines around the world. Our contrasting attitudes disguise the fact that the values involved in these two cases are very similar. In each case, an item with a certain history is valued over another, somewhat improved, item with a different history.
Sentimentality explains why it is better to support endangered natural languages rather than Klingon
This sort of value is ubiquitous. We preserve such things as medieval castles, the Eiffel Tower and the Roman Colosseum not because they are useful but because of their historical and cultural significance. When ISIS fighters smashed 5,000-year-old museum exhibits after capturing Mosul in 2015, outraged journalists focused on the destroyed artefacts’ links with ancient and extinct cultures. Historical and cultural significance is part of why we value languages; indeed, the philosopher Neil Levy has argued that it is the main reason to value them. These ways of valuing things are labelled sentimental in some contexts. If minority languages are valuable partly for sentimental reasons then they are in good company.
While valuing minority languages is often viewed as sentimental, it is just as often admired. The documentary We Still Live Here (2010) tells the story of the revival of the Wampanoag language, a Native American language that was dead for more than a century. The film celebrates the language’s revival and the efforts of Jessie Little Doe Baird, who spearheaded its revival, whose ancestors were native speakers, and whose daughter became the revived language’s first native speaker. Baird received a MacArthur Fellowship to carry out her project, and her success attracted widespread media attention and honours, including a ‘Heroes Among Us’ award from the Boston Celtics basketball team.
Across the Atlantic, Katrina Esau, aged 84, is one of only three remaining speakers of N|uu, a South African ‘click’ language. For the past decade, she has run a school in her home, teaching N|uu to local children in an effort to preserve it. In 2014, she received the Order of the Baobab from the country’s president, Jacob Zuma. Both Baird and Esau have received global news coverage for their efforts, which are acclaimed as positive contributions to their community.
It is fortunate that sentimentality can be a respectable sort of attitude. Without it – that is, focusing solely on the scientific and academic value of languages – it is difficult to explain why it is better to preserve currently existing minority languages rather than revive long-dead languages that nobody living today cares about, or why it is better to support endangered natural languages such as the Lencan languages of Central America rather than artificial languages such as Volapük (constructed by a Roman Catholic priest in 19th-century Germany) and Klingon (the extra-terrestrial language in Star Trek ), or why it is better to preserve endangered natural languages than to invent completely new languages.
Even people who are unsympathetic to efforts to support minority languages are, I imagine, less baffled by Esau’s desire to preserve N|uu than they would be by a campaign for the creation and proliferation of a completely new artificial language. No such campaign exists, of course, despite the fact that creating and promoting a new language would be scientifically interesting. The reason why it’s better to preserve currently existing natural languages than to create new ones is because of the historical and personal value of the former. These are exactly the sort of values associated with sentimentality.
M inority languages, then, are valuable. Does that mean that societies should invest in supporting them? Not necessarily. The value of minority languages might be outweighed by the value of not supporting them. Let’s look at two reasons why this might be the case: the burden that supporting minority languages places on people, and the benefits of reducing language diversity.
While we might value minority languages for similar reasons that we value medieval castles, there is an important difference in how we can go about preserving the two types of thing. Preserving a minority language places a greater burden on people than does preserving a castle. We can preserve a castle by paying people to maintain it. But we can’t preserve a minority language by paying people to carry out maintenance. Instead, we must get people to make the language a big part of their lives, which is necessary if they are to become competent speakers. Some people do this voluntarily, but if we want the language to grow beyond a pool of enthusiasts, we must impose lifestyle changes on people whether they like it or not. Often this involves legislation to ensure that children learn the minority language at school.
Languages have not become extinct or endangered gently. The history of language death is a violent one
There is also, I think, a special kind of enrichment that children – and people in general – get from learning a minority language connected to their community. They get a new insight into their community’s culture and history. They also gain the ability to participate in aspects of their culture that, without knowing the language, are closed off and even invisible; namely, events and opportunities conducted in the minority language. I write from experience here, having spent the past 18 months or so trying to learn Welsh. I was born and raised in Wales yet, until recently, my main contact with the language consisted mainly of ignoring it. Returning to Wales now, armed with my admittedly modest understanding of Welsh, I have a sense of this long-familiar country becoming visible to me in a new way. I feel pleased and interested when I encounter Welsh speakers. I am happy that my nephew learns Welsh at school. These strong conservative intuitions are – for a non-conservative like me – surprising and somewhat alien. But they are not unique: they centre on benefits that are frequently mentioned by campaigners for minority languages.
Finally, let’s consider a very different reason to resist the view that we should support minority languages. Language diversity is a barrier to successful communication. The Bible has a story about this: as a punishment for building the Tower of Babel, God ‘confused the language of all of the Earth’ by causing people to speak a multiplicity of languages where once they had all spoken the same one. It’s rare these days to encounter the view that our diversity of languages is a curse, but it’s notable that in other areas of communication – such as in the representation of numbers, length and volume – we favour standardisation. The advantages to adopting a single language are clear. It would enable us to travel anywhere in the world, confident that we could communicate with the people we met. We would save money on translation and interpretation. Scientific advances and other news could be shared faster and more thoroughly. By preserving a diversity of languages, we preserve the obstacles to communication. Wouldn’t it be better to allow as many languages as possible to die out, leaving us with just one universal lingua franca ?
It would be difficult, however, to implement a lingua franca peacefully and justly. The very idea calls to mind oppressive past policies, such as the efforts of the Soviet Union to suppress local languages and to force all its citizens to communicate only in Russian. Extinct and endangered languages have not, on the whole, become extinct or endangered gently, by subsequent generations choosing freely to switch to a more dominant language. The history of language death is a violent one, as is reflected in the titles of books on the subject: David Crystal’s Language Death (2000), Daniel Nettle and Suzanne Romaine’s Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages (2000), and Tove Skutnabb-Kangas’s Linguistic Genocide in Education (2008).
It would, then, be difficult to embrace a lingua franca without harming speakers of other languages. In addition, if we were serious about acting justly, it would not be enough merely to abstain from harming communities of minority language speakers. Given the injustices that such communities have suffered in the past, it might be that they are owed compensation. This is a view commonly held by minority-language campaigners. It is debatable what form this compensation should take, but it seems clear that it should not include wiping out and replacing the local language.
Perhaps, if one were a god creating a world from scratch, it would be better to give the people in that world one language rather than many, like the pre-Babel civilisations described in the Bible. But now that we have a world with a rich diversity of languages, all of which are interwoven with distinct histories and cultures, and many of which have survived ill-treatment and ongoing persecution, yet which continue to be celebrated and defended by their communities and beyond – once we have all these things, there is no going back without sacrificing a great deal of what is important and valuable.
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